Migration, Continuity and Creativity in the Tropics


  • Hurriyet Babacan University of New England
  • Alperhan Babacan Swinburne University of Technology




Tropical Australia is a multicultural mosaic fashioned by various waves of migration and ancient Indigenous cultures. Migration, cultural diversity and multiculturalism have been at the heart of nation building in Australia. Tropical Australia represents a unique blend of cultures, landscapes and traditions. Stories of migration, by the host society and by the immigrants, themselves are embedded with celebratory and fearful narratives. Immigrants to Tropical Australia have used their culture, arts, food and handcrafts as the initial point of building bridges with the society they found themselves transposed into. The early policies of multiculturalism were founded on recognition of cultural practice. This paper explores the role of creativity and multicultural arts in contemporary Tropical Australia from an enriching or a critical perspective. It is argued that the role of multicultural arts has been under-estimated in Australia generally. The building of a pluralistic and inclusive society requires genuine representation (and voice) of all groups, shared experiences and a narrative that supports a deeper understanding of diversity. Using examples from tropical Australia, the paper posits that multicultural arts and creativity are important elements of identity development across generations of immigrant families and communities, legacy transmission and cultural preservation, social cohesion, social inclusion and citizenship and civic participation.




How to Cite

Babacan, H., & Babacan, A. (2016). Migration, Continuity and Creativity in the Tropics. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.12.2.2013.3335